Grammar Lesson: The Possessive Case (page 2)

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Dec 15, 2010

Indefinite Pronouns and the Possessive Case

Indefinite pronouns form the possessive by adding an apostrophe and an "s" after the word.

Is this someone's backpack?

May I ask everyone's help here?

Somebody's cell phone is ringing; please answer it in the other room.

We would like to hear another's opinion.

The other's situation is much different.

If you use the word else after anybody, nobody, or somebody, place the apostrophe and the "s" after else, not after anybody, nobody, or somebody.

This is somebody else's radio, not mine.

Your business is nobody else's concern.

Activity 2- Indefinite Pronouns and the Possessive Case

Some of the personal pronouns in these sentences require the apostrophe followed by the "s." Others do not. Underline the correct word in each sentence.

  1. Will the option be offered to (everybody, everybody's)?
  2. (Somebody, Somebody's) car is making weird noises.
  3. The pocketbook belongs to (nobody, nobody's) in this room?
  4. Remember that this situation is (nobody's else's, nobody else's) matter.
  5. We would certainly like to hear (everyone, everyone's, everyones') ideas.
  6. (Somebody else, Somebody else's) entered the room after we left.
  7. These cards belong to (somebody else, somebody else's).
  8. (Anyone else, Anyone's elses, Anyone else's) proposals will certainly be considered.
  9. (Nobody, Nobody's, Nobodys') permission slip is missing.
  10. (Somebody else, Somebody else's, Somebody's else's) will be assisting you shortly.

Activity 3- Using the Possessive Case

On the line provided, write the possessive form for each of these phrases. The first one is done for you.

  1.   Lesley's house    the house that belongs to Lesley
  2. ______________ the house owned by both Joe and Jim
  3. ______________ the two houses owned separately by Joe and Jim
  4. ______________ the car that belongs to that woman
  5. ______________ the cars that belong to the women
  6. ______________ the value of a dollar
  7. ______________ the salaries of the machinists
  8. ______________ the motorcycle that belongs to my father-in-law
  9. ______________ the plan of the committee
  10. ______________ the plans of the committees
  11. ______________ the suggestion that he made
  12. ______________ the store owned by Ulysses
  13. ______________ the address of it
  14. ______________ the bike owned by Tom
  15. ______________ the bike owned by Thomas


Activity 1- The Possessive Case and Pronouns

(Answers will vary.)

Activity 2- Indefinite Pronouns and the Possessive Case

  1. everybody
  2. Somebody's
  3. nobody
  4. nobody else's
  5. everyone's
  6. Somebody else
  7. somebody else
  8. Anyone else's
  9. Nobody's
  10. Somebody else

Activity 3- Using the Possessive Case

  1. Lesley's house
  2. Joe and Jim's house
  3. Joe's and Jim's two houses
  4. that woman's car
  5. the women's cars
  6. a dollar's value
  7. the machinists' salaries
  8. my father-in-law's motorcycle
  9. the committee's plan
  10. the committees' plans
  11. his suggestions
  12. Ulysses' store
  13. its address
  14. Tom's bike
  15. Thomas's bike
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